¿Un punto de inflexión para Putin?

NUEVA YORK – Cuando la incompetencia en el Kremlin se vuelve asesina, sus ocupantes pueden empezar a temblar. Al empezar a conocerse en Rusia la noticia del derribo del vuelo 17 de Malaysia Airlines sobre Ucrania, las personas con buena memoria recordaron el ataque de la Unión Soviética –el próximo septiembre hará 31 años– al vuelo 007 de Korean Air Lines y sus consecuencias políticas.

En aquella época, el Kremlin primero mintió al mundo diciendo que nada tenía que ver con la desaparición del avión de KAL. Después afirmó que el reactor surcoreano iba en misión de espionaje para los Estados Unidos, pero para los dirigentes soviéticos el incidente fue un punto de inflexión. Acabó con la carrera del mariscal Nikolai Ogarkov, Jefe del Estado Mayor y el más intransigente de los partidarios de la línea dura, cuyos incoherentes  y nada convincentes intentos de justificar el derribo del avión resultaron profundamente bochornosos para el Kremlin.

La ineptitud de Ogarkov (y su inepta mendacidad), junto con el fracaso de la guerra de la Unión Soviética en el Afganistán, que se veía venir desde 1979, revelaron la avanzada decrepitud del sistema. El estancamiento que había comenzado durante el gobierno de Leonid Brezhnev se intensificó después de su muerte en 1982. Sus sucesores –primero Yuri Andropov, del KGB, y después Konstantin Chernienko, del Comité Central del Partido Comunista– no sólo tenían un pie en la tumba cuando llegaron al poder, sino que, además, carecían de la menor preparación para reformar a la Unión Soviética.

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